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Foster, Rice in different places as franchise tag looms

Ray Rice and Arian Foster arguably are the two best running backs in the AFC right now. They're also currently eligible to become free agents next month.

In Foster's case, it's likely the Texans will use their franchise tag on him, a reality that seems to sit fine with Mike McCartney, the two-time Pro Bowl back's agent.

"I think it's part of the business," McCartney told KBME-AM in Houston. "The ultimate goal is a long-term deal where this marriage continues. ... It's just part of the process. The Texans have to do what's right for them at the beginning of this, and we'll adjust accordingly. It won't offend us in any way. We'll do our best to have a long-term deal."

All is calm in Houston, but the situation in Baltimore is more uncertain.

A league source told the two sides haven't made any progress in talks. NFL Network insider Jason La Canfora took that one step further Thursday, reporting via league sources that there haven't been any real talks between the player and team.

League sources told La Canfora that Rice will be unhappy and won't rush to sign the franchise tag if the Ravens opt to use it without negotiating a potential long-term deal first.

In Foster's case, the tag would represent a significant financial boost for an undrafted player who couldn't obtain a raise even after winning the NFL rushing title in 2010. Rice appears to be asking more from his team in terms of faith.

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